The Suitcase Lady

Topography

November 27, 2018, 8:14 pm

The inspiration for this blog comes from my cousin, a most fascinating person. Here is how he describes his interests: “The two things I loved most as a kid (other than math and piano) were city populations and mountain heights. The common theme throughout: NUMBERS! Well, that and geography/maps in general. That was before I started calling everyone by their phone numbers.”

My own childhood relationship with math can best be described as abysmal. I could hardly remember my own phone number. But geography was second only to art on my list of favorite subjects.

My cousin often sends posts about “fun with numbers”. When his number play intersects with geography, I am hooked. He truly can make numbers fun for me.

His latest post was about mathematical analysis of the flattest and least flat (or most rugged) states in America. He points out that various methods and criteria can be used to compile these statistics and lists can vary. But almost all the listings contain big, big surprises. There are so many things we people think we know but don’t.

So, fair warning….can you guess the top five flattest states and the top five most rugged? Clue: think of the total percentage of land given over to hills and mountains versus the flatlands.

The Answers

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